Children 1st - Give A Child Their Smile Back...


'A child’s smile is like a ray of sunshine on a cloudy day.’
- a voice of wisdom
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Recently, I voiced some radio ads to promote Children 1st, and as part of my ethical policy I’ve now donated 50% of the fee back to this important charity. If you’d like to help give a child their smile back, discover more and donate at children1st.org.uk/smile/
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You can learn more about my ethical policy, listen to recent voiceovers, and book via vickywatt.co.uk



Words Have Power - Ethical Policy


For more than a decade, my work as a voice artist has been guided by an 'Ethical Voice' policy. Putting my feelings into words has made it easier to steer away from projects that conflict with my deepest values.

Over the years, I've also become involved in copywriting projects that celebrate inspiring, progressive brands. It's work I love and I'm excited that opportunities keep coming. However, as our environmental and humanitarian crises escalate on all fronts, many of us feel compelled to ask serious questions about where to draw the line. How can we recognise when we're blurring boundaries, compromising our ethics, no longer staying true to our word? After all, a desire to collaborate with leading creatives and lovable brands, along with the basic need to make a living, can result in any of us drifting away from our core values. Yet, the fact remains that words have power - whether spoken or written - and our personal career choices have an impact on people and planet.

A recent article published by It's Nice That explains it best.


'As creative professionals, we have the power of persuasion in our hands, and with that power comes a responsibility. By regularly persuading people to buy into unsustainable products and ideas, we are complicit – either knowingly or unknowingly – in the climate emergency.

‘When our skills bring commercial success to organisations in the business of selling fast fashion, petrol-engined anything, technology that becomes obsolete faster than you can say the word “Alexa”, air travel, imported food, packaged food and drink, all things plastic, single-use anything...it comes at a societal cost. Which gives us a simple choice: we can choose or refuse to promote these products.' Read the full article here.

With this in mind, I've signed two pledges - Creative Climate Disclosure and Voice For The Planet. Also, I've done some reflecting and revising to help me keep my word. All of my work - as a voice artist, writer, and creative producer - is now anchored to this ethical policy. 


I WON'T KNOWINGLY PUT IN A WORD FOR...

Fossil Fuels and Nuclear
This obviously isn't a clear cut issue. Yet, examples of corporate complicity by big fossil fuel brands in oppressive regimes, human rights abuses and destruction of our environment suggest there's a moral issue with our dependence on this resource. With this in mind, I wish to promote responsible, sustainable alternatives to the destructive extraction of fossil fuels.  Also, the devastating effects of the decades-old Chernobyl disaster are still being felt. So, I won't directly promote nuclear energy while I remain unconvinced of its safety.

Planet Unfriendly Banks and Building Societies
I prefer not to promote banks which invest in destructive industries like fossil fuels (eg Canadian tar sands) and arms production. On the other hand, I LOVE to support those which promote a clear, progressive ethical policy - eg The Cooperative Bank and Triodos.

Planet Unfriendly Beauty, Household and Food Products
There are so many fantastic brands out there and I especially love to voice for those promoting earth friendly, free range, organic, vegan, and cruelty free products or services. 

I also choose to be a voice for brands and businesses offering refills, recycled plastic or sustainable alternatives to plastic: vegware (where proper composting facilities exist), infinitely recyclable aluminium, glass, and sustainably sourced paper. 

Plastic Pandemic
It's worth noting that in 55 years, only 9% of plastic has been recycled. Also, while plastic producers claim the situation is improving, we do not currently have the infrastructure to provide a significant solution. After minimal use, most plastics still pour into landfill - some of ours is shipped abroad - where it breaks down, pollutes the air, and leaches into our oceans.   

So, I won't promote items that are excessively packaged in single-use or disposable plastic, if there is an available alternative, and/or the product is a luxury item. Learn more about the plastic pandemic at Greenpeace.

Militarism and Arms Industry
War. What is it good for....? You probably know the song. Aside from tricky moral debates, I feel uncomfortable with military recruitment ads which attract potential new recruits by highlighting exciting career incentives  - travel, new skills, salary - without giving serious attention to the devastating realities and repercussions of war. I also don't wish to promote militarism or the arms trade and wherever possible, aim to support pro-peace, practical, diplomatic activism.

The Last Word...
Thankfully, step by step, the list of amazing ethical products, services and organisations is growing - along with support for individuals and agencies who are speaking up for our oceans, planet, and humanity.

See more at Creative Climate Disclosure and Voice For The Planet and this article in The Drum.

Meanwhile, I'll continue to question my ethical policy based on new research or information. Thank you again for visiting!  

Disclaimer: Nobody's perfect but together we can create a ripple effect...


Imagine Better...



'We are not here to serve solutions to you. You are creatives, and you have the power of communication. What can you come up with?' - Extinction Rebellion

'In other words, your creativity, your platform and your voice is key!' 
creativesforclimateamsterdam.com

Amsterdam recently hosted a ‘Creatives For Climate’ summit - it was a call to action for the Dutch creative industry, and all of us. 

Together, we are the most influential, change-making industry in the world. The power to wield images and words can destroy or create. And we are here to create! So, what if more creatives said no to briefs that conflict with the collective, ‘big picture,’ plan to save our planet?

Be inspired at creativesforclimateamsterdam.com


Also, if you’re a freelance creative or agency, you can sign up to Creative Climate Disclosure, and see the list of signatories, at creativeandclimate.com.

The WILDHOOD Wonder of Words...


'Vicky is my absolute go-to for all things word! She is super-passionate about her work, extremely reliable and a dream to work with. I can’t recommend her highly enough - she’s worked with me across lots of events for the last five years and is always on point between my different brands and events.’
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Mel Jarron​
Director
wildhoodfestival.com | scenescotland.co.uk
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So delighted with this blush-worthy 😊 note from Mel - working with words for WILDHOOD is wonderful! W...I’ll stop.
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Dive deeper at acousticwave.co.uk

Living The Aye Life...


Discovering kindred spirits feels a little bit like magic or serendipity or destiny. Call it what you like. When you know, you know! I insta-met @theayelife via a mutual love of Cruden Bay and quickly found myself lol’ing - actually laughing out loud in real life - every time I read their posts. And I’m far from the only one who looks forward to their virtual postcards from all over Scotland.
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With a social following of 50k, it’s no wonder they’re also the faces behind the @theayeagency, which, in a seashell, helps other cool businesses to catch their best waves. Their team of skilled digital marketing enthusiasts provide services such as content creation and social media training, website design, SEO consultancy, web hosting and social media management.
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Meanwhile, I’m just excited to meet and work with more ace people who know staring at the sea is creative inspiration for what happens when we return to the screen!
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Discover more at theayeagency.com and hear the Writer’s Rough Drafts podcast interview with Victoria from @theayelife at https://bit.ly/2kL6tU8.
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Repost @theayeagency | What’s the best thing about not being stuck in an office all day EVERYDAY? Well, the inspiration I get from the many amazing places and people we visit. Where do I feel more creative? Behind a desk with a fan blasting me in the face whilst staring at the clock? Or on a beach on a Scottish island with the wind blowing away any last sign of a cobweb? #AyeLandEverytime đŸ´ó §ó ˘ó łó Łó ´ó ż. Creativity is EVERYTHING.

Out Of Office. Out Of Time? Climate Strikes + Dreaming Of A Better World...






This morning, I awakened with last night’s dream clinging to a sunny day. I had been standing inside a childhood home, a safe place, as sea water climbed up the window outside. We rushed to the top floor and already, the water was seeping through the attic door and cracks in the roof. 

Shaking it off in the cold light of day, I walked through our quiet village with my daughter. She pointed at the receding moon and we talked about its power over the tides. 

Later, I met a woman on the beach, who said she found our little stretch of coastline a bit creepy...the way the tide crawls in very slowly, without us noticing. I have often had similar feelings about this beautiful beach where accused witches were punished for crimes they didn’t commit - those long rocky skerries remind me of fingers, clawing their way through the sand, or maybe pointing at us, accusingly. 

On a distant rock, a heron stood tall, patient, looking back towards the shoreline of humanity, waiting. 

‘At least the tide is going out,’ the woman said. 

But, the tide will turn again. Today is the Global Climate Strike, the first of its kind. Millions across the world are walking out of schools and work to protest for our planet. They are protesting for our children and all the creatures who are being punished for crimes they didn’t commit. But millions of people are not enough. One day is not enough. One action is not enough. We are ALL needed, today, everyday. 

And back to the dream. A psychologist could offer many explanations for it, but I also wonder if others are having similar nightmares? After all, we are subtly aware that for many people all over the world, this is already more than a bad dream.  Are our intuitions and collective unconscious trying to tell us something? As I write, a siren is getting louder. It’s time to wake up.


11 Ways To Wake Up...

1 switch to #renewables @ecotricity 
2 drive less, in a smaller or electric car
3 take the bus, train or walk 
4 wave goodbye to air travel …and enjoy more #staycations
5 ask what the new clothes, furniture, whatever, are worth to us - do they cost the earth? 
6 choose more and more #plasticfree
7 choose home grown, local, organic, sustainable, fsc, reclaimed
8 eat more plants 🌱, less meat/dairy
9 switch to a bank with ethics as standard
10 live more simply, leave smaller 👣 
11 speak 🔈 out and act up 💕


Learn more via Greenpeace. 

Reminders...


It’s been a busy few days amidst the creative waves. 

Researching and writing interview questions for a series of short films about some very interesting people reminded me of being back in radio production and interviewing Kylie by proxy - yes, I can almost say I almost met Kylie. But not quite. I should be so lucky. 

Writing social media posts for 6 x super cool small businesses reminded me how good it feels to lose track of time doing work that doesn’t feel like work. 

And doing voiceovers for a series of educational modules about mental health issues reminded me that regardless of how we make a living and no matter what our ‘highlight reel’ looks like, it’s most important to make a life that FEELS good. 

In a seashell, seek out simple pleasures, treasure people we love to share time with, and find the courage to speak up when all isn’t well. Our health is our wealth and it’s vital to keep reminding ourselves of that.

Image by Adrian Dascal via Unsplash